Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ultra-short laser pulses for science and industry

08.05.2012
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT received the Stifterverband‘s Science Award 2012 together with several partners from industry and science.

The prize was awarded during the annual meeting of the Fraunhofer Society on May 8, 2012 in Stuttgart in recognition of its outstanding cross-location, multi-disciplinary collaboration on the laser platform for scaling the power of ultra-short laser pulses.


Adjustment of a picosecond laser.
Picture Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Laser technology uses light. Light can be rapidly and precisely deflected, shaped and focused. If we pulse laser light and continuously reduce the pulse duration, the laser tool works even more precisely. A benefit: The material being processed heats up less and less. High-power, ultra-short pulses, then, are the ideal solution for medical applications, in brain surgery for instance, as the cerebral membrane is not damaged.

Or for removing tumor tissue in order to conserve the surrounding tissue and blood vessels. Yet this precision technology is also valued in the processing of materials, glass for instance: Lasers are able to cut narrow speaker ports in smartphone displays. For years, ultra-short laser pulses have been used for the extremely precise and gentle processing of highly-sensitive materials. Until now though, they have often lacked in power. The newly developed laser platform solves this problem with the INNOSLAB booster as its core. Four mirrors surround a laser crystal plate - the slab.

A pump jet enters at the two opposite sides of the slab. The mirrors are repeatedly deflected to allow ultra-short laser pulses to keep passing the slab. Each time they do, energy is transmitted from the pump jet to the laser pulse until the required power is achieved. This platform was developed by the Fraunhofer institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and refined further together with several partners from industry and science: the chair for laser technology at RWTH Aachen University, the Max Planck institute for Quantum Optics MPQ in Munich and the companies Jenoptik AG, EdgeWave and Amphos - the last two being ILT spin-offs. To develop new markets for laser systems with ultra-short wavelengths, the team of developers had to increase the mean laser output of ultra-short pulse beam sources - up to several hundred watts.

Because higher power makes higher production volumes in business and shorter measuring times during scientific experiments possible. Between 2008 and 2011, two joint projects revolved around developing the new beam source: The aim of the PIKOFLAT project, supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research BMBF, was to structure pressure tools and embossing dies. The goal was to reduce processing times while significantly increasing quality.

One of the results of this project is the production of embossing rollers that are used to create extremely fine artificial leather surfaces for the automotive industry. In the second joint project, KORONA, Fraunhofer collaborated closely with the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich and with RWTH Aachen University. The scientists jointly developed a compact beam source whose extremely short-wave light makes it possible to examine nano-structures.

Stifterverband Science Prize
In 1920, representatives from the business world established the Stifterverband at the suggestion of German academies, universities and scientific associations. Its re-foundation after the Second World War is closely linked with the re-foundation of the »Notgemeinschaft der deutschen Wissenschaft« [Emergency Association of German Science] on 11 January 1949. The Stifterverband is still considered to be the mediator between industry and science today. For ten years, the organization has awarded the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft with a prize worth 50,000 euro. The prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding joint applied research projects, on which Fraunhofer institutes work together with businesses and/or other research organizations (article 1). This and the prize „Technik für den Menschen“ [prize for human-centered technology] are awarded in alternate years.
Contacts at the Fraunhofer ILT
If you have any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to contact our experts:
Dipl.Ing Hans-Dieter Hoffmann
Competece Area Manager Lasers and Laser Optics
Phone +49 241 8906-206
hansdieter.hoffmann@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Dr. Peter Rußbüldt
Group Manager Ultrafast Lasers
Phone +49 241 8906-303
peter.russbueldt@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Steinbachstraße 15
52074 Aachen
Phone +49 241 8906-0
Fax +49 241 8906-121

Axel Bauer | Fraunhofer Forschung Kompakt
Further information:
http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht CeGlaFlex project: wafer-thin, unbreakable and flexible ceramic and glass
25.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Additive manufacturing, from macro to nano
11.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>